With the support of ArtStarts' Creative Spark program, I've put together a variation on Pen Pals for a group of grade three students. Two groups actually, one here in Golden and the other in New York. My aunt, Annie Coan, is an inspired art teacher in the Bronx, and she was game for sending letters and artwork back and forth between the two classes. On this end, grade three teacher Linda Poon was fully on board. And so, the Art Pal Project was born.
It's been great to pop in to Ms. Poon's class here in town a few times, and the experience was made even richer by fitting in a quick trip to NYC in February. I met all the Bronx kids, together we recorded video messages for their pals, and then [not surprisingly] I made a portrait of each one. To say the BC kids were thrilled to get these photos of their new friends might be an understatement.
Maybe this experience will fade into the blur of childhood memories for these kids. But I like to imagine that a few might just stay in touch over the years, that maybe these are the seedlings of lifelong friendships.